Tale as old as Time, True as it can be.
Don’t lie and say you weren’t singing along.
The whole world has gone crazy for Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast. And I thought why not throw my two cents in there.
Growing up with the original carton, I didn’t see Belle as a strong woman. She was just a well-read beauty that found love by looking past appearances. But Emma Watson’s portrayal of Belle showed the sides that princesses aren’t often seen for: strength, bravery, and selflessness.
Disney princesses have a bad reputation of teaching young girls to wait for their prince to come. Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora may be entertaining but not much for girl power. Elsa and Mulan have helped the girl power initiative, but we need to tack on Belle to that list. Belle sacrifices her life for her father, choosing to be trapped in a castle while her father is sent home. She speaks her mind, telling off the Beast for being rude and entitled. Blatantly turning down Gaston’s countless marriage proposals. And retuning to save the Beast in the end from Gaston and his gang. Under that yellow ballgown is an independent girl that’s ready to fight.
Emma Watson is the epitome of grace and beauty. A perfect choice to play Belle. Not only was her acting spot on, who knew Hermione Granger could sing? She proved that a feminist can still be a princess. Refusing to wear a corset or heels because it sets an “impossible idea of female beauty” shatters the skinny waist identity that is physically unachievable.
What struck world wide controversy was Gaston’s right hand man LeFou. He was the first openly gay character in a Disney film. I applaud Disney for taking a stance and refusing to change the movie even after receiving criticism. The writers were able to subtly introduce the idea without making it a big ordeal. I hope people can one day learn to look past their discriminations to accept the social change Disney is presenting.
Bottom line: Go see Beauty and the Beast in theaters. The music alone is worth hearing on the speakers and there is not one bad actor in the cast. Teach your daughters to be like Belle: be themselves, and never give in to any man.
Disney’s next live action film Mulan is set to release in 2018. Looks like I have plenty of time to listen to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on repeat.